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Implants vs Root Canal | Which One to Choose?

Approximately 69% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have at least one missing tooth, a common reason for choosing dental implants. On the other hand, your tooth might have the strength to be restored. In such a case, the dentist might suggest a root canal treatment. For your better understanding, we will go through all the differentiating aspects between implants vs root canals.

Implants vs Root Canal

Let’s go through the differences between dental implants and root canal treatment, one by one. 

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a restorative dental treatment in which the infected pulp is removed from the tooth and then cleaned from the inside. In the end, the tooth is filled permanently. 

Purpose of root canal treatment

The main aim of root canal treatment is to preserve and conserve the remaining tooth structure according to modern dentistry. Treating a tooth instead of extracting it is always preferred if it can be saved.

Dental Implant

A dental implant is a tooth replacement device. It comprises of:

  •  a screw,
  • an abutment, 
  • a crown. 

The screw is most commonly made of titanium. Crowns can be made of metal and ceramic or zirconia. A zirconia crown is better shaped. Moreover, it is aesthetically pleasing, while a metal crown is cheaper yet more durable.

Difference Between Dental Implant vs Root Canal

There are multiple differences to consider between dental implants vs root canal treatment:

Root canal vs Implant procedure

You can understand the procedural difference between dental implants vs root canals via the following: 

Root canal procedure

A root canal treatment is generally completed in 2 to 3 appointments. The treatment begins with the dentist inquiring about your health and past dental therapies, followed by x-rays. After the treatment plan is made, the dentist removes the cause of the pain. It is done by removing the infected pulp (the heart of the tooth, which receives the blood and messages from the brain). 

Once the pulp is removed, the pulp chamber is cleaned, shaped, and filled. The pulp canals are filled with a material known as “Gutta percha.” Gutta-percha is a bacteria-resistant filling material. After the roots are filled, the top portion of the tooth is filled and later covered with a crown or some other restoration (e.g., inlay, onlay, etc.) 

Implants procedure

A treatment plan is made after confirming the patient’s suitability for implants. Implants can be placed immediately after extraction. The implant can be placed when the tooth is removed, and there are no signs of infection. However, implants can be placed after the healing (post-extraction phase).

Implants vs Root Canal Cost

Between implants vs root canals, the cost factor plays a major role.  

Root canal treatments range between $500-$1500. The cost varies depending on the expertise of the dentist, the number of appointments, and the tooth under treatment.

On the other hand, a single dental implant may cost you about $1500-$4500. Dental implants are expensive, but they restore the regular oral functions of eating and speaking. Patients may not even feel the difference between dental implants and natural teeth. 

Healing Time: Implant vs Root Canal

A root canal treatment takes no more than 2-3 appointments over 1-2 weeks. The recovery period of a root canal-treated tooth is short. The patient might experience mild discomfort for a week or two, but that subsides with proper medication. 

The procedure of dental implants begins with the extraction of the non-restorable tooth and its healing, which takes about four weeks. After that, an implant of appropriate size and shape is placed. It takes 3 months for it to adjust within the bone. This is followed by crown selection and placement. The entire procedure takes about 4-6 months for its completion.

Longevity of Implants vs Root Canal

A study on 30-year outcomes of dental implants revealed a 100 percent survival rate. Therefore, dental implants are ideal replacements for missing teeth. The durability of both the implants and root canals depends on proper maintenance. 

If the RCT-treated tooth is maintained well and if there is a crown over it to protect it, it may last for 5-15 years or more. 

Root Canal vs Implant For a Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth can be restored with a root canal if the crack of the tooth has reached the pulp or is limited in the upper portion (crown of the tooth).  

On the contrary, if the crack on the tooth has extended to the tooth’s roots or is separating the tooth in the center or between the roots, it is usually difficult to restore it with a root canal. In such a case, the tooth is extracted, and after complete healing, the missing tooth can be replaced with an implant. 

Maintenance of Dental Implants and Root Canal

Good and well-maintained oral hygiene adds years to the lifespan of a dental implant or a root canal-treated tooth. You may use a toothbrush with soft and fine bristles. This will prevent food debris and bacteria accumulation in the gums and teeth. Moreover, flossing after meals or at least once a day is necessary. 

Follow-up visits at your dentist will help in early detection and treatment of any dental problem. According to research in 2022, root canals with a minimum of 4 years of follow‐up had better outcomes than those with less than 4 years. Moreover, maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and frequently rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water is essential.

Dental Maintenance

Conclusion

In a nutshell, both root canal treatment and dental implants have their own pros and cons. A root canal is a preservatory dental treatment, while dental implants replace missing teeth. Consultation with an experienced dentist helps with decision-making. 

If you want dental implants in Blairstown, NJ, to replace missing teeth or a root canal treatment in Blairstown, NJ, to strengthen the remaining tooth structure, the expert dentists at Blairstown Smile Studio are there to help you. Book your appointment today with us. We will plan a budget-friendly and quality treatment plan for you. 

You can also reach out to us in Newton, NJ, for root canal and dental implant treatments. 



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